So, first essay out of the way (“only” 1500 words, but somehow took me much longer to craft than I expected), I have a bit of time to say something about time. As a part-time student, one of the challenges is figuring out exactly when, how and how much to study, relative to all the other commitments I have (namely, my paid work).
Aside from all the things I could say in this regard, and cue phrases like “work-life balance” and “time management”, ultimately the demands in this regard revolve around one key concern: how much do I need or want to study? Naturally, this is informed by other concerns such as my aims for the course, my work goals, finances etc., but it all comes down to my choices. As I’d like to get quite a lot out of the course over the next two years, it figures I’ve got to put quite a lot in.
Immediately, the prospect of having no life outside of study presents itself, but actually I think this is just an illusion. The trick is not just to throw hour after hour at study, but to study “smart”. This might be a tall order after just a few weeks of study, but already I’m beginning to see that if I want to study smart I need, say, to do more focused reading instead of general or background reading.
Yes, there is a lot of “reading” and all the time could easily end up being that, but where then is there time for “thinking”? Cue “mastering the art of skimming”, and reading to get an overview and awareness of the topic, and so on.
After being out of education for almost ten years, it is gradually all coming back to me. And, I hope, just in time!